Craft, Design and Technology for Children having 'Special Educational Needs'

David Lund
1984, Vol. 17, No. 1,

Abstract


I have taught COT at a Comprehensive School to children of all abilities. My recent experience has involved teaching COT to children categorised as being maladjusted and also to children who have 'mild' and 'moderate' learning difficulties. From my experience I am convinced that COT should have a significant role in the curriculum for those children described as having 'special educational needs' by the Warnock Report (1978) and the 1981 Education Act. In particular I have been interested in identifying the specific aspects of the subject which might be most useful.

The concept of 'Special Educational Needs' stems from the Warnock Report (1978) which was the first ever report to enquire comprehensively into the education of the handicapped.

In 1977 the extent of those children requiring and being given 'special education' was about 1.8OJoof the school population in England and Wales, this represented approximately 176,000 children. Warnock recommended that the concept of 'special provision' should be expanded. This decision was based on the findings of the Isle of Wight Study (1964-65) a study which investigated the incidence of intellectual and educational retardation, psychiatric disorder and physical handicap. Warnock (1978) stated therefore:

'That about one in six children at any time and up to one in five children at some time during their school career will require some form of special educational provision' (3-17 (pAl).

This wider concept clearly expanded the previous idea of special educational provision and was meant to absorb other aspects of school provision, such as remedial departments which were not previously thought of as being 'special education'. The report highlighted those children who need some kind of additional help, most of whom are already in the mainstream of education.

My interest in the idea that COT can be of special importance for children with SEN has shown that the subject is not being exploited as much as it should be for the benefit of such children. This seems perhaps to be because of other pressures, such as the constant strive to make the subject more acceptable for the brighter pupil?


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